5 Questions to Nati Felli
Owner & General Manager, Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences, Crans Montana.
When you talk about Valais, you often refer to it as paradise – why?
There are only a few places that have so much going for them. One extremely interesting factor in this day and age is freedom of movement – the feeling of being safe at any time of night or day. This is something we take for granted in Switzerland. For many of my guests, however, it is the greatest luxury there is.
If you gave your best friend an insider tip on things to experience here, what would it be?
I would go for a walk with her and have a little picnic en route somewhere. Then we would go shopping. We live in a village with only 6,000 inhabitants, surrounded by the most beautiful mountain landscape, and at the same time we have the most fantastic, luxurious shops in the world here – a range that you might otherwise find in Paris, for example.
You put a lot of loving care into your hotel. Is your passion the key to your success?
It’s true that I have been following my passion since the very beginning. It is in every detail of the hotel. At the same time, however, I never forget that passion isn’t the only thing it takes to be successful. You also have to be single-minded and determined. I’m not ashamed to say that I am extremely ambitious and strict with myself at times.
You have an open personality and are in tune with the times – what do today’s guests look for when they visit a luxury hotel?
Firstly, it is important to mention that, to get a sense of this, you have to be reading, listening and learning all the time, trying to understand what people like. That’s why I regularly travel to a wide variety of places – wherever my guests come from. We have to be aware of the guest’s needs and give him or her an experience that is as personalised as possible. This can only be done, however, if we know exactly what each guest likes. My guests shouldn’t have to worry about anything – they should always know that we are taking care of everything. We never give No as an answer because our guests want to feel as if everything is possible.
What is the biggest compliment guests can make to you when they check out of your hotel?
When they tell me that they were so happy with their stay that they’d like to come again. Or when guests say that they felt as comfortable as they did at home. I also love it when children tell me that they don’t want to leave. The happiness of the people who come to my hotel– be they old or young – is what gives me the energy to keep going.
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